Hoorah for our Healthcare Scientists! | News

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Hoorah for our Healthcare Scientists!

Image of four healthcare scientists

This week is Healthcare Science Week (11-15 March) and it is our chance to shine a light on how important healthcare scientists are to patient care in the NHS.


They usually work behind the scenes, providing essential support to clinicians and helping to make sure our patients get the right diagnosis and safe and effective treatment.


Healthcare science underpins over a billion diagnostic investigations and treatment interventions a year, accounting for 80 per cent of NHS diagnostics tests.  Healthcare scientists will effect three in four of all clinical decisions made in the NHS. ‚Äč


These staff can choose to work in around 50 specialisms which can be categorised into four groupings: Physiological Sciences, Life Sciences, Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering, Bioinformatics.


Here at Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust, there are 225 healthcare scientists working in 13 specialisms across seven of our divisions. Without these highly skilled scientists, many of our hospital departments could not function.

This year we asked Daniel Sinclair, Helen Bruce, Silvana Di Palma and Siva Ratnatheepan to tell us more about their work. 

Image of Daniel Sinclair

Daniel Sinclair

  • Job title: Trainee Clinical Scientist in Medical Physics
  • Healthcare science specialism: Nuclear Medicine
  • Qualifications: BSc Physics
Trainee Clinical Scientist Daniel Sinclair is currently halfway through his three-year, fully funded training programme and working within the Royal Surrey’s Nuclear Medicine department. Daniel applied for a place on the training programme run by the National School of Healthcare Science as he came to the end of his university degree. Read more.


Image of helen bruce


Helen Bruce

  • Job title: Consultant Clinical Scientist and Specialty Lead for Routine Biochemistry Services
  • Healthcare Specialism: Biochemistry
  • Qualifications: Chemistry degree, The Health and Care Professions Council  (HCPC) registered clinical scientist and member of the Royal College of  Pathologists.


Helen has been working as a healthcare clinical scientist since leaving university, over 22 years ago. It took four years to get her degree and then further study as a clinical science trainee. She started her training at St George’s Hospital in London, before moving to Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trsut and finally joining the Royal Surrey where she has been for the last ten years. Read more.


Image of Professor Silvana Di Palma

Professor Silvana Di Palma

  • Job Title: Consultant Histopathologist with special interest in molecular biology
  • Healthcare specialism: Histopathology
  • Qualifications: Doctor of Medicine, specialised in cellular pathology, Member of the Royal College of Pathologists, Member of the Association of Breast Pathology
Professor Silvana Di Palma joined the Trust 20 years ago. Having studied at The University of Bologna in Italy, she moved to the UK and took a role as a consultant at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth, before she was offered a position here at Royal Surrey. Read more.


Image of Siva Ratnatheepan

Siva Ratnatheepan

  • Job Title: Head of Echocardiography
  • Healthcare specialism: Echocardiography
  • Qualifications: Registered Clinical Scientist, Accredited Member of the British & European Society of Echocardiograph, BSc University of Surrey, MSc Imperial College London, Fellowships from American and British Echocardiography Societies
Siva Ratnatheepan works as a healthcare clinical scientist in Cardiology and is the head of echocardiography. He is the only clinical scientist in the department and the rest of the team are highly Specialist Cardiac physiologists, nowadays classified as healthcare scientists, who have gone through the intensive specialist training program after completion of appropriate degrees. Read more


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